YouTube videos of girls’ bedrooms? No thanks.
Posted By Peppermint Soda
As a PR consultant, I’m naturally aware of the priceless opportunities that social media opens up. As a mother of three, I’m also acutely conscious of the more sinister aspects of the technology that’s now available to kids at the touch of a button. Last week, the eight-year-old daughter of a good friend innocently answered a call on Skype from a middle-aged man in Syria. He tried to engage her in a deeply inappropriate conversation before she had the good sense to call her mum. Scary stuff.
YouTube is an endless source of hilarity for my kids. But reading about the latest YouTube craze made my hair stand on end. “Room tours” are short video clips that feature narrated tours of kids’ bedrooms – cuddly toys and all. Girls as young as 12 are now using their cameraphones to showcase their bedrooms and belongings (often without the knowledge of their parents) to the waiting world. The phenomenon is gaining pace, with the most popular clips attracting more than two million viewers.
Some might argue this is a valid way for young girls to convey their style and individuality. Personally, it scares the hell out of me. My daughter is only four, so – mercifully – is not one of those subjecting herself/her room to a torrent of vicious comments from other girls and their mums sniggering over their choice of lampshade. And then there are the other, even more terrifying, risks. How many of those millions of viewers worldwide are not, in fact, nosey teenagers wanting to have a shufty at other girls’ duvet covers? How many of them are creepy men who….. Actually, I can’t even go there.
YouTube is wonderful, funny, astonishing. As a family, we wouldn’t be without it. But there are some things I want to keep safe from its clutches – and my little girl in her bedroom is one of them.